by April Foster
A new trend in social networking is helping struggling local businesses to stay afloat.
“Cash mobs” utilize the methods of the popular flash mob to inundate locally owned stores with cash-flush customers.
As Public Radio International explained in a recent report:
The formula is straightforward: People commit to spending at least $20 each at a local business to help expose and market it, which brings in new customers.
Like flash mobs, cash mobs are organized using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. As their popularity has spread, they have received publicity from conventional media through announcements in the newspaper or on the radio.
In addition to providing a temporary boost to store revenues, cash mobs intend to help cultivate long-term customer relationships with hardworking local businesses.
In just the past year, cash mobs have occurred in 32 states, Canada, and various locations throughout the European Union. A Facebook search yielded zero results for cash mobs in Boise. But a quick search on social networking site Reddit reveals loosely organized plans for a Boise cash mob, with local businesses Video Memories, Fanci Freeze and Basque Market in the discussion.